Chapter 42 SHIP OF TRILLION Rescue
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Ship slammed his thrusters on, hard-turning to avoid a collision with an assass-ANT that had lost control after being sliced by a laser. There was debris everywhere as other spacecraft were pelted with pieces of assass-ANTs and lasers.

Ship could sense all the spacecraft and ANTs in his fleet. His brain was well suited to keeping track of everything. Monitoring other spacecraft and assass-ANTs was no different from keeping track of all the micro-asteroids that could collide with him as he travelled through space at relativistic speeds.

He was now near the front of the fleet, behind a debris belt of dead assass-ANTs. He needed to move towards the back.

His spacecraft spun around, pointing its massive engines in the opposite direction. Firing them hard, he arrested his momentum. The G-forces would have flattened a biological life form, but not Ship.

Other spacecraft flew by him – it looked like he’d stopped in space and everyone around him kept moving. He had to remote-control a few of the other spacecraft and assass-ANTs just to ensure none of them hit him. He had lost 95 per cent of the first wave; he didn’t want to be part of the casualties in the second wave.

A message appeared from Trillion. “Ship, they have me surrounded by some sort of magnetic field. I’m sending you details. You’ll need to destroy these ten nodes to get me out.”

Time was running out. The enemy had destroyed a quarter of his force now, and he hadn’t even got a scratch on them.

He slowed down his playback speed, turning seconds into hours. The world around him slowed to a crawl. He wanted time to simulate potential outcomes. He needed to save Trillion. It was the one thing he was made for – protecting Trillion. Protecting the embryos too, Trillion’s children.

He really only had one chance to save her. He needed to focus all his energy on this one task. Ignoring the enemy, he needed to free her and get her and the spacecraft off the moon. Then both of them could flee the system, hide somewhere and decide what to do later.

He simulated what would happen if the war continued. Based on all the available data, he wasn’t going to survive. He could maybe destroy five per cent of their force, but at the cost of 100 per cent losses. They were just too coordinated.

He replayed the initial battle. He watched the first wave of his assass-ANTs blanketing the battlefield to target their spacecraft. He wasn’t focused on what his fleet was doing. He fixed his attention to the enemy – they had some sort of weapon. Maybe it was a forcefield, maybe it was something more advanced than that. Whatever it was it was wiping out his fleet. The initial pattern of destruction looked like his fleet was hitting a forcefield. As if his army was hitting some invisible wall. But as the battlefield was filled with debris he was able to piece together sensor data from spacecrafts and destruction patterns. It was simply a laser creating the destruction. That was good he thought, because you can dodge a laser – you can’t dodge a wall.

Ship returned to real-time and used that new knowledge to update his attack approach for the remaining vehicles in his current wave.

He watched as each of the enemy spacecraft used their lasers a similar pattern. Three of them would focus on a single target with its laser following a spiralling pattern, leaving no room for the assass-ANTs to dodge, either vaporising it or pushing it out of the way so it drifted right past the enemy spacecraft.

They were even more efficient this time. As his second wave was mowed down, he realised the enemy had changed their tactic slightly.

They knew the assass-ANTs weren’t very strong. It only required one laser to immobilise them.

He watched as the three ships focused on a single assass-ANT, trapping it. Then as soon as one of the lasers connected, the other two lasers changed targets, switching to a new one. This increased the efficiencies leading to faster kills. Wave two was destroyed in half the time.

He simulated a scenario where he focused on a smaller group of enemies. He didn’t attempt to take out all the enemies – just the bunch closest to Trillion. He watched as the simulation played out. All his spacecraft and assass-ANTs clustered closer together, focusing on only a small group of enemies.

This time the train of assass-ANTs and ship were still destroyed, but the debris continued moving forward, enemy lasers failing to push all the dead spaceships and assass-ANTs off course. They punched through 20 or so of the enemy ships. Many more were forced to move off course, diverting away from Ship’s space junk like weapons causing havoc and destroying a small proportion of the enemy.

Ship thought about it for a while longer. He made a plan. If he focused his remaining forces on punching a hole through the closest enemies to Trillion, while also sending himself and a few other spacecraft on towards her, he could rescue her.

He was outgunned. He had a bigger force, but the enemies’ weaponry was too advanced. More and more of his army disappeared by the minute. His only chance was to cause enough destruction to create a diversion, so he could rescue Trillion amidst the chaos.

He made the decision not to assess the probability of success.